Friday, 30 January 2009

Strategies You MUST Know if You Want a Flat Stomach with 6-Pack Abs

by Mike Geary, author - The Truth about Six Pack Abs, interviewed by Craig Ballantyne - CSCS, Men's Health Magazine Training Advisor

Below is an interview that I did with world-famous trainer and Men's Health Magazine Training Advisor, Craig Ballantyne as he grilled me on the top secrets for fat loss and six pack abs. Check it out...

CB: Mike, give us a brief background about yourself

MG: Sure Craig. Well, I'm currently a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Certified Personal Trainer. I've been dedicated to improving my knowledge of fitness, both training techniques and nutrition aspects, for over 15 years now, and I never stop trying to learn more each and every day. I've also been a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine, and I'm the author of the popular internationally-selling book, "The Truth about Six Pack Abs" which has had tens of thousands of readers in over 150 countries currently.

I just love helping people with this area of their lives, as not only does it improve their outward appearance and confidence, but more importantly, improves how they feel and their internal health, helping them to live longer and healthier lives. It's something I'm very passionate about.

CB: Okay, so where does the average man or woman go wrong when it comes to training abs?

MG: Ok, most people are probably going to be surprised with this answer. In their quest for 'six pack abs', the biggest mistake I see people making is wasting WAY too much of their time training their abs directly... pumping away with all kinds of different abs-specific exercises.

I'm sure you know what I'm referring to. The person is trying so hard to get those abs to show, that they're spending almost all of their time in the gym with hundreds of reps of various crunches, leg raises, twisting exercises, etc. Meanwhile, all of that wasted time directly training the abs could have been better spent on a properly designed full body workout program that would elicit a much better metabolic response and increase the fat-burning hormone levels in their body as well.

After all, losing the stomach fat that is covering the abs is the MOST important aspect for most people to finally be able to make their abs visible. Unfortunately, pumping away with hundreds of crunches and leg raises does NOT cause much of a metabolic or fat burning hormonal response. This is the main focus of my Truth about Six Pack Abs book... full body training programs and proper nutrition to strip off that stubborn belly fat and reveal the six pack that's hiding underneath!

Of course it wouldn't be an abs book if I didn't focus on ab development too, but I make sure firstly that the most important concepts for lasting body fat reduction are understood.

CB: Do you see any gender differences in mistakes they make? And more importantly, do you see any gender differences in the response to various types of ab training?

MG: To be honest, I don't really see any need for men or women to train differently. Bottom line... the best exercises are the best exercises regardless of gender.

However, in regards to mistakes I see between genders... Yes, I tend to see women more often are deathly afraid to use weight training with anything but really light weights. That is a shame, because THE most effective way to gain control over your body fat for life, is to maximize your lean muscle that your body carries, as well as working that muscle hard through intense resistance exercise regularly.

It's important for women to realize that regular strength training using heavier resistance will NOT "bulk them up" (as long as caloric intake is controlled), but rather is one of the key secrets for losing body fat and staying lean year-round. As a matter of fact, some of the leanest females that I've trained over the years are the ones that aren't afraid to work hard with the weights.

I also notice that most women (and a lot of guys too) spend way too much time with slow cardio exercise. This is simply not necessary, and the way I combine high intensity resistance training into full body routines provides enough of a "cardio" workout in itself usually. We'll get back to this in a minute though.

CB: What about ol' school sit-ups? Do you use these? Are they good, bad, or does it "depend"?

MG: Sit-ups are a controversial topic. I don't think they're good or bad per se, but rather "in between". I didn't include them in my program. I simply don't feel they are necessary, and I think there are much more effective abs exercises to focus on. Personally, I almost never do sit-ups except occasionally for a little variety every now and then.

CB: Give us a weekly sample ab training program. How many days per week? What are a couple of the best exercises you'd pick? How many sets? Reps? Rest?

MG: Well, first I'd like to point out that the full body movements that make up the majority of my programs indirectly work the abs and the entire "core" area to a fairly decent extent. However, I do include abs-specific exercises into the routines generally about twice per week. The "abs-specific" portion of the workouts generally only take about 5 minutes at most with very little rest between exercises.

Once people are past the beginning phase of gaining some initial ab strength, I try to get them away from the exercises that are too easy, where someone can do 50 or 100 reps, as is frequently common with standard crunches. Instead, I like to focus on higher resistance exercises that actually stimulate the muscle fibers to a much greater degree. One example of a higher resistance abs exercise is hanging leg raises with a proper "pelvic curl up".

It's funny but usually someone that has been wasting so much time with hundreds of reps of crunches can usually only do a few solid reps when they first attempt some of these higher resistance exercises. We also make sure not to neglect some rotational movements, as well as some work for the deeper muscles like the transversus abdominis.

CB: What do you use for burning fat, intervals or slow cardio? Or both? Any gender differences here? Or differences between fitness levels (beginner vs. advanced)?

MG: In most cases, my answer is definitely intervals... or as I like to call it "variable intensity training". In general, I think slow steady pace cardio is a waste of time, especially if the goal is lasting fat loss.

I think people need to get away from this thinking about "fat burning zones" and calories burned during the actual workout, and look at the bigger picture of what you're doing in your workout to stimulate the greatest metabolic response in your body... and the best metabolic and hormonal response is achieved through variable intensity training and strength training, not slow steady-pace cardio.

Now I will say that if someone is really deconditioned and can't handle higher intensity exercise routines just yet, this still doesn't mean that they can't simply use lower intensity routines, but still use it in a "variable intensity" fashion, by alternating between higher and lower exertion levels throughout the workout.

CB: And finally Mike, 1 or 2 of your top secret nutrition tips for carving out those abs. Open your vault of info!

MG: Well Craig, I think you'd agree that there has never been a more confusing time regarding proper nutrition for consumers. Every so called "expert" out there seems to disagree and contradict each other on what's the best way to eat for fat loss and overall good health.

One of the most important messages I try to teach my readers in this world of heavy confusion is that your diet doesn't need to conform to any of the fad diets... you don't need to go "low carb" or "low fat", or high or low anything for that matter to be successful in losing enough body fat to get lean enough to be able to see your abs. I like to try to simplify things for my readers. I think that balance is the key to success along with eating a diet that is made up of nutrient dense foods in their natural state (as unprocessed as possible).

In general, it is the heavy processing of foods that makes it wreak havoc inside our bodies. Most foods in their natural unprocessed state are inherently good for us. Of course there are always exceptions... a salad of poison ivy leaves is "natural and unprocessed" but certainly would not be good for us!

I'll leave your readers with a couple of the most important aspects of nutrition that help to get you lean for life...

1. Get enough quality protein in the daily diet - not only does it have a higher thermic effect than carbs and fat (so you burn more calories digesting it), but it also creates satiety so your hunger is satisfied longer. Plus it's a building block for maintaining and building lean muscle... And remember that the amount of lean muscle you carry is one of the main factors for controlling your metabolism.

2. Think fiber! When it comes to carbs, make sure that almost all of your carbohydrate intake is from higher fiber sources like vegetables, fruits, and high fiber unrefined grains. Try to avoid refined sugars and refined grains as that is one of the main reasons so many people struggle with body fat. I personally don't eat many grains as I prefer to get most of my carbs from veggies and fruits, but I do use sprouted grain breads fairly regularly too.

I generally recommend looking for carbohydrate sources that have at least 2-3 grams of fiber per each 10 grams of total carbs. Remember that fiber helps fill you up and also slows down the glycemic response of the foods you eat, all beneficial for getting lean.

3. Don't be afraid to eat fat! Many people try to go way too low on their fat intake and this can negatively affect hormone levels in your body as well as causing more cravings. Try to eat enough healthy fats daily.

Good sources are all nuts and seeds, nut butters, avocados, olive oil, organic meats and eggs, coconuts and virgin coconut oil. On that note, saturated fats from tropical oils are VERY misunderstood, even by many nutritionists and other health professionals. Yes they are composed highly of saturated fats, but are actually beneficial (but that's way beyond the scope of this article).

4. Avoid the two worst things in our food supply at ALL COSTS:

  • artificial trans fats from margarines, shortening, and hydrogenated oils that are in most processed foods and deep fried foods
  • high fructose corn syrup, which is in almost all sweetened products on the market

Again, if you avoid processed foods, it becomes easy to avoid these two worst offenders in our food supply.

I always contend that once you get a handle on these 4 main points of your diet detailed above, the rest starts to take care of itself as you gain control over your appetite, blood sugar levels, hormone levels, etc. It all falls into place, and you eventually gain total control over how lean you want to get.

CB: Thanks Mike! Check out Mike's book The Truth About SIX PACK ABS

abs diet program

Thursday, 29 January 2009

5 Tips To Get a Flat Stomach

5 Facts You MUST Understand if You Are Ever Going to Lose Your Belly Fat and Get Six Pack Abs

1. Many so-called "health foods" are actually cleverly disguised junk foods that actually stimulate you to gain more belly fat... yet the diet food marketing industry continues to lie to you so they can maximize their profits.

2. Ab exercises like crunches, sit-ups, and ab machines are the LEAST effective method of getting flat six pack abs. We'll explore what types of exercises REALLY work in a minute.

3. Boring repetitive cardio exercise routines are NOT the best way to lose body fat and uncover those six pack abs. I'll show you the exact types of unique workouts that produce 10x better results below.

4. You DON'T need to waste your money on expensive "extreme fat burner" pills (that don't work) or other bogus supplements. A special class of natural foods is much more effective. I'll tell you about these natural foods and their powers below.

5. Ab belts, ab-rockers, ab-loungers, and other infomercial ab-gimmicks... they're all a complete waste of your time and money. Despite the misleading infomercials, the perfectly chiseled fitness models in the commercials did NOT get their perfect body by using that "ab contraption"... they got their perfect body through REAL workouts and REAL nutrition strategies. Again, you'll learn some of their secrets and what really works below.

Here's the REAL Truth About Losing Stubborn Belly Fat and Getting a Flat Stomach...

Women Click Here: ADD TO CART
Men Click Here: ADD TO CART

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Ultimate Secret to the Exact Body You Want

Today you need an open mind for the ideas I'm going to talk about today. If you can fully grasp these ideas, believe me, this will be the most powerful secret you've ever discovered for attaining the exact body that you desire.

I'm basically going to borrow the concepts from the hit movie "The Secret" and show you how to apply it towards your fitness goals.

Keep in mind that this "ultimate secret" has nothing to do with our normal discussions of reps and sets. It doesn't have anything to do with calories or fat or protein. It has nothing to do with cardio training or abs exercises. But once you discover the "Secret", and how to use it, you will be on your way to the body of your dreams, or any other goals that you have in your life, for that matter.

Top athletes have always practiced the "Secret". Practically all of the most influential, powerful, wealthiest, and happiest people throughout history have either knowingly or not, practiced the "Secret". Some didn't even realize that they knew the "Secret", but the application of its power is the reason for their success. Today, I'm simply putting a little twist on this "Secret" and applying it to your fitness goals. But truly, it works for any of your goals and desires in life.

Before I share the "Secret", I want to ask you a few questions today and I want you to answer the questions that are appropriate to your goals. Please be honest with yourself. If you discover that you have not accomplished your goals related to these questions, pay close attention, because I'm going to reveal to you how you can change this now and be on the road to achieving whatever it is that you want in life.

Do you currently have the body that you want?
Do you feel full of energy every single day?
Do you feel strong, confident, and proud of your body?
Do you feel that you have no physical limitation to be able to do whatever you want to do in life?
Do you want to be thinner?
Do you want more muscle?
Do you want sexy flat abs or a tighter butt?

The answers to these questions will be vastly different for everyone. We don't all want the same things. We don't all have the same goals.

But the most important thing to realize, is that ANY of your goals can be achieved, no matter who you are, if you understand and APPLY the "Secret". Alright, enough of the build-up. What exactly is the "Secret"?

The "Secret" lies within your mind and revolves around the powerful Law of Attraction. What you focus on becomes your reality. To put this another way, "What you resist, persists. Whatever you are feeling and thinking is a perfect reflection of what you will become".

In other words, if all you ever focus on is how frustrated you are that you can never lose weight or get rid of that belly fat, then you are destined to have a flabby body forever, because you are actually creating that reality. However, if you focus on your successes with every ounce of your being, every single day, and continually feel in your mind what your dream body is going to be like, you will create that reality. The key point is that your thoughts and feelings must revolve around already having the body that you want. You must actually imagine daily that you are already living in your new body.

If you're closed-minded, at this point in reading this article, you will probably say something like, "what is all of this crap this idiot is talking about". And then you will click away to another site, go back to your daily life, and continue to be frustrated by failing to achieve the body you want for the rest of your life.

On the other hand, if you're open minded, and truly want to succeed, you will continue to read, absorb, and start to apply the "Secret", and watch your body slowly become exactly what you want it to become.

I've discovered the "Secret" a couple years ago and how to apply this towards my other goals in life aside from fitness.

However, I also realized that the reason I've been successful with my fitness goals is that I've been unknowingly applying the "Secret" towards my fitness goals for many, many years now. I have always visualized exactly how I wanted my body to look, how energized I wanted to feel day in and day out, how strong and confident I wanted to feel. These visualizations led me on a constant mission to take massive daily ACTION towards exactly what I wanted.

So how do you get the exact body you want? Well, the first thing I want you to realize is that how you feel today and the body that you see in the mirror today is actually a combined result of how you have lived your life in the past... the habits, thoughts, and actions that you have taken throughout every single day that has preceded today. If your past has not given you the body you want today, the energy you want, the powerful feeling of health that you want, then you need to change your mindset and start taking immediate and massive action towards exactly what you want.

You need to visualize yourself living in that desired lean, strong body... feel the energy, vitality, and strength running through every inch of you. Imagine the confidence you feel. If you want it bad enough, you WILL achieve it, but it takes a BURNING DESIRE to succeed.

You need to keep running through this imagining process, and actually capture this "feeling" every single day, until the day comes that you realize that you have achieved your goals. If you practice this enough, you will attract into your life exactly what you want. Again, if all you focus on is your failures, and continue to think negatively, you will only attract more failures and negativity into your life.

Amazing things and amazing people have been coming into my life ever since I discovered the "Secret". If you have an open mind and focus your entire being on what you want, it WILL come into your life. It starts with the mindset, and your journey towards your goals continues from there with massive action taken on a daily basis toward your goals. Once you get this process right, you CAN'T fail.

I will leave you with one more powerful quote that has totally transformed the way I think about what I can achieve in life:

"Whether you THINK that you can or can't do something, either way, you are right".

Read that one again, and believe it! It is a powerful shift in mindset that will change your life.

I want you to do me a favor and read this entire article over again and really start thinking about how you can apply it towards your goals. They don't even have to be fitness goals. It can really be anything that you want to achieve.

Once you've got your mind in the right place, you are now ready to take massive action towards your goals starting now! Getting back to your fitness goals... If your goals revolve at all around losing body fat, tightening up your entire body, and creating an energy filled lifestyle, then a great place to get all of the information you need to achieve this and start taking action is in my Truth about Six Pack Abs book.

By the way, this book does not simply revolve around abs exercises. To be honest, the abs exercises are the LEAST important part of the book. The most important parts of the book are carrying out the nutritional program and compiling all of the training information into a full body training program to stimulate your metabolism and create the right hormonal environment in your body that removes body fat consistently.

Combining a fool-proof training and nutrition program such as this with the proper mindset and application of the "Secret", will give you a very powerful solution to the lean-body that you desire.

The solution is here - The Truth about Six Pack Abs

All that stands now between you and your goals is getting your mindset right, and taking action!

For Women: ADD TO CART


I hope this article has given you some things to think about. I urge you to have an open mind and allow yourself to attract what you want into your life.

Please feel free to copy/paste and email the link to this page to any of your friends and family that you think will enjoy it.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Fitness over 40

I receive a lot of questions from my readers where they have been doing pretty good at choosing healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but they are still struggling to find good ideas for "snacks".

After all, I'm sure it's no secret by now that eating 5-6 small meals per day is a much better strategy for getting lean compared to the traditional "3 squares" a day (which for most people, turns into only 2 big meals/day as many skip breakfast).

The problem that I see people having is being prepared enough to bring healthy mid-meals with them to work for the day. If you don't plan ahead, and bring something healthy and balanced with you when you're out and about for the day, or at work, you're going to end up choosing the junk food at the vending machine or corner store.

So here are some of my favorite mid-meals that I've used for years with great success and that lots of my clients love too. I want to keep things simple here, so I'm just gonna give a couple of my easiest, quickest, and healthiest:

  • Apple or banana with almond butter
  • Cottage cheese mixed with yogurt, berries, and walnuts or pecans
  • A couple hard boiled eggs with carrot and celery sticks and hummus
  • A piece of whole grain or sprouted grain toast with nut butter and berries
  • Fresh sliced pineapple with a handful of macadamia nuts
  • Cottage cheese with cinnamon, apple slices, and walnuts (mmm, mmm good)

That should give you some ideas to start working with.

Remember that my Truth about Six Pack Abs ebook contains 84 additional lean-body meal ideas to keep your eating plan interesting and delicious!

Feel free to forward this newsletter to any of your friends, family, or coworkers that you think might enjoy these mid-meal ideas.

I'll be back with some more Lean-Body Secrets. Have a great one!

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder - TruthAboutAbs

Monday, 26 January 2009

How to Make Exercise Fun Again

I was talking to someone, not long ago, that basically told me that he was motivated to get in shape, but at the same time he hates working out. He wanted to find out ways to enjoy working out more so that he could stick with it for once, since he always ends up quitting after several weeks.

He makes a good point, as most people that keep giving up on exercise are often the ones that don't enjoy it. From my perspective, I don't understand this problem as I love almost any form of exercise and get true enjoyment out of it.

This goes beyond just your typical weight lifting and cardio routines also. You really do need to find forms of exercise you enjoy and that are fun for you if you're really going to stick with them for the long term.

For example, in the last 6 days, here are some of the activities I've done that are lots of fun, but also keep me in great shape...

Friday - mountain biking (mix of hard climbs and fast fun downhills)

Saturday - kayaking (good upper body workout)

Sunday - another mountain biking trip

Monday - traveling so didn't have access to gym... just did about a 10 minute workout of bodyweight exercises in room -- pushups variations, 1-legged romanian deadlifts, & abs leg thrusts alternated constantly

Tuesday - 35 minute swimming workout (sprint style)

Wednesday - 45 minute full body weight training workout

I'll probably take tomorrow off to rest the body a little, and possibly do a kettlebell and/or hill sprinting workout on friday.

So you can see that for me, I always find ways to enjoy exercise, stay active, and at least during the nice weather, get out and enjoy some fresh air.

Everybody is different, but for long term success, you must find ways to incorporate exercise into your life that you actually enjoy. If you dread your workouts and think negatively about them, you're more likely to skip workouts or even quit altogether.


If you liked some of these ideas today, feel free to copy/paste this link and email to any of your friends or family.

I'll be back soon with more Lean-Body Secrets. Til then,

Don't be lazy... Be lean!

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Author- The Truth About SIX PACK ABS

Saturday, 24 January 2009

This Food Is Slowly Killing You and Your Family

More and more evidence is mounting every day from scientists and researchers revealing that the artificial trans fats that are packed into your food supply in massive quantities are one of the WORST things that you can put into your body. I call them the "evil trannies".

Trans fats have even been compared to cigarettes as being equally bad, if not worse, for your health. Unless you're a label reader, most people don't even realize how many of the foods they eat every day are loaded with these deadly trans fats.

Here's another thing that even most most health professionals don't realize... There is actually a distinction between the nasty artificial trans fats, and some natural trans fats that can actually improve your health and help you get leaner. I wrote an article about this little-known topic previously:

Bad Trans Fats vs. Good Trans Fats - an Unknown for Most

Most people don't realize how bad the problem is with the prevalence of trans fats in our food supply. Did you know that scientific research has indicated that as little as 1-2 grams of artificial trans fat daily in your diet can contribute significantly to your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other health risks. I glanced at a label on a little single serving fruit pie at a corner market the other day, and that little pie had 5 grams of trans fat.

Between processed snack foods, fast foods, and deep fried foods, some people are taking in 20-30 grams of trans fat per day without even realizing it... and yet as little as 1-2 grams/day has been shown to cause health risks! Now you see the HUGE problem and why the health risks are comparable, if not worse, than cigarettes.

The thing is, when it comes to cigarettes, almost everyone in the world understands the health risks with smoking. They simply choose to smoke despite the risks. However, when it comes to trans fats, the vast majority of the population either still does not know how bad trans fats really are for you, or most are not aware how prevalent trans fats are in the food supply, or what foods they are found in. Most people think... "Oh, it's approved by the FDA, so it must be safe". That's foolish thinking.

Good News, Finally!

I just recently saw some great news which is proving that health officials are finally getting the message about how bad artificial trans fats really are for our health and that something needs to be done to protect consumers.

New York city recently became the first major US city to ban artificial trans fats in all restaurants, corner food shops, bakeries, and other types of eateries throughout the entire city. Apparently, the businesses will have approximately 6 months to phase out the use of trans fats in their frying oils, and they will have 18 months to phase out the use of all other trans fats in their foods due to use of margarines, shortenings, and hydrogenated oils added to other products.

On top of that, the state of Massachusetts just introduced a bill that would make them the first state to ban trans fats in restaurants. Other positive and significant changes regarding trans fats in the food industry recently include the fast food chains Wendy's and KFC who have both switched to frying oils without trans fats. Word is that McDonalds and Taco Bell are both researching alternative oils to avoid artificial trans fats as well.

Thankfully things are starting to change as more and more scrutiny continues to force the food manufacturers to reduce and/or eliminate their use of trans fats.

The best advice I can leave you with is that only YOU are looking out for your health, NOT the food companies and restaurants. Therefore, you need to be an educated and informed consumer and read labels to avoid artificial trans fats as best as possible, if not completely.

Better yet , simply avoid processed food altogether and you don't have to read labels. If all you buy are whole foods like meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other unprocessed foods in their whole natural state, you can be certain to avoid all of the worst things that plague our food supply.

I'll be back next week getting back into some training topics.

If you feel the topic in this email was important enough to share with those that you care about, your friends, family, and colleagues, feel free to forward this email along to them.

The Truth About SIX PACK ABS.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Losing Belly Fat the Right Way with These 2 Crucial Strategies

Before I give you the 2 vital secrets for losing that stubborn belly fat, I would like to tell you about another new lunch idea that I came up with recently. As you probably already figured out, I'm always trying to come up with meal ideas that are healthy but unique and help to keep us from getting bored with our meals.

I know this meal concoction may sound a little strange, but I had some friends try it and they couldn't believe how good it was. They like it so much, they asked for the recipe. It's nothing more than a bunch of stuff thrown together in one pot.

Geary's Turkey-Bean Concoction (makes about 4-5 servings)

  • 2 large cans of chunked or shredded turkey breast (or use about 1-lb of fresh shredded turkey breast)
  • One 16-20 oz. can of baked beans
  • 1 large tomato diced (or 1 can crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A couple cloves fresh diced garlic (or a tablespoon or so of crushed garlic from the jar)
  • 1 large vidalia onion diced
  • 2 red peppers diced

In a large pot, combine the olive oil, diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic together until it starts to simmer and let it cook for a few minutes. Next, add in the shredded turkey and can of baked beans and simmer for a few more minutes. You're done!... Simple isn't it? Perhaps it sounds a bit weird, but I couldn't believe how delicious it was! Plus, it has a great mix of healthy carbs, protein, and fat, as well as a good dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

The 2 Crucial Secrets for Losing Your Belly Fat for Good

You're thinking that you've tried every trick in the book for losing your stubborn belly fat, but it just never seems to budge... right? I'm sure you have seen TONS of commercials and ads making all kinds of miracle claims for losing your belly fat overnight with their magic pill or wildly-hyped snake-oil supplement. How about all of the bogus infomercial gadgets out there claiming you can tighten and tone your stomach in a matter of days just by strapping some worthless "ab-belt" around your waist, or burn away the stomach fat by using their patented "ab-roller-rocker" do-hicky.

Give me a break! I hope you've not been taken in by all of these fraudulent marketers and the gimmicks and scams that they are pushing down your throat by trying to get you to believe that a fat-loss miracle is possible overnight.

So let's get past all of the scams, cons and gimmicks and get right down to the hard science and reality behind what really works to help you lose your stubborn belly fat and keeping it off for life!

1) The first important aspect is how you structure your workouts. In order to stimulate fat-loss from your stomach, you need to stop wasting so much of your time doing all kinds of various abdominal exercises and hundreds of reps of crunches, leg lifts, and torso twists in the hopes of "spot-reducing" your belly and love handles.

I'm sure you know by now if you've read any reputable fitness publications over the last decade that spot-reduction DOES NOT occur. It's a myth that just won't seem to go away. The truth is, losing belly fat does NOT occur by doing exercises that target the stomach area. Unfortunately, even though most people by now do understand this (or at least they should), they still spend WAY too much of their training time trying to target the stomach with tons of abs exercises.

Now don't get me wrong, a certain amount of abdominals exercises are great and they do help to strengthen your core and help you maintain a healthy back. But the fact is that direct abs exercises should only be a small portion of your workout routines. The majority of your time should be spent focusing on big multi-joint exercises that work the largest muscle groups of the body like the legs, chest, and back.

Now that is one of the REAL secrets for ridding yourself of that unhealthy belly fat for good. Focusing on big multi-joint exercises for the largest portions of your body greatly increases your metabolic rate both during the workout, and for 24-48 hours after the workout. In addition, this also stimulates an increase in fat-burning hormones within your body. You simply don't get this type of metabolic and hormonal response by wasting most of your time with "abs-pumping" exercises.

Want to lose your belly fat the right way... Well, get your butt under a barbell and do some squats, some lunges, some deadlifts, step-ups, some back and chest work. For you ladies, don't's not going to "bulk you up".

It doesn't matter per se if it's barbells, dumbbells, or even bodyweight exercises... the focus needs to be on big multi-joint exercises at a high intensity. That means no 5-minute rest periods between sets while you flap your gums with half of the people at the gym. Losing that stubborn belly for good requires some focus and intensity in your workouts! Anybody who tells you that you can do it while sitting on your couch watching TV with some "ab-belt" strapped to you, or doing only 2-minutes of crunching with your "ab-rocker-roller" is flat out lying to you!

2) The second important principle to rid yourself of that flabby belly revolves around your nutrition. The first thing you need to realize is that "diets" only work against your body in your effort to lose the stomach fat. You see, if you follow any of these fad diets like low-carb, or low-fat, or the grapefruit diet, the soup diet, or anything else that restricts 1 or more of the macro-nutrients (protein, carbs, and fat), most of the time you will actually lose lean muscle and lower your metabolic rate. This only makes you fatter in the long run, when you start to eat normal again!

I could go into all kinds of details, but essentially you are messing up processes related to your hormonal balance in your body, the muscle glycogen process, insulin, blood sugar, etc., and this stops your fat loss dead in its tracks!

It's important to stop falling for the fad diet gimmicks, and understand that as humans, we are meant to eat a balanced diet full of a diverse array of foods from healthy natural sources of carbohydrates, proteins, AND fats. This gives your body all of the macro-nutrients as well as all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that your body needs to run like a well-oiled fat-burning machine!

I could go on and on with dozens more strategies for losing your belly fat faster, the natural way, but I've rambled on long enough for one article. You can find all of my best fat-loss strategies to help you uncover those hidden abdominals of yours, laid out into actual programs for you to follow in my Truth about Six Pack Abs Program.

losing belly fat imageIf you've been thinking of getting a copy of The Truth about Six Pack Abs Program, but just haven't made the move yet, now is the time to take action, and get started on your lean ripped flat stomach today!

I've been talking to some other top-selling fitness professionals lately, and they've told me that my price is WAY too low for the amount of quality info that I reveal in the program...not to mention the additional value with the 5 extra bonuses that you receive for free (including Virgil Aponte's famous Stair's Exercises e-book, a $29.95 value by itself, and the Killer Stability Ball Abdominals Exercises Guide).

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Beer Belly or Rock Hard Abs?

Do You Have a Beer Belly?

Quite often people find that they can stick to a reasonably healthy diet during the week, but think that they're totally blowing everything on the weekends.

I just received the question below recently from a customer and some ideas I came up with for him. I think you'll get some good ideas from this on how to deal with the issue of keeping up a healthy diet during the weekend.

Q: "I haven't emailed in a while, so I wanted to update you. I haven't missed a workout yet and I just finished the third week on your program. I am feeling pretty good, and can already see a bit of a difference in the mirror. I'm still far from a 6 pack, but I'm making progress and I'll definitely get there.

I would give myself a grade of B-, because during the week I do very well with my routine and diet, but on the weekends I drink too much beer (empty calories) and my diet suffers a bit with eating out and weekend activities. But all in all it is going well, and I think I'll be a great success story for your testimonials. If you have any nuggets of wisdom or just any suggestions on how to deal with the weekends, I'm all ears."
-Brandon, Saint Louis, MO

A: Good to hear from you Brandon, and it sounds like you're on your way. I can fully relate to your issue of doing well on the weekdays and then drinking a lot of beer and eating late night junk on the weekends. Here's what I've done over the years that helps to keep the lbs off while still enjoying the weekend social scene that involves alcohol and eating out.

If you're gonna drink, try and keep it to light beers or hard alcohol mixed with something non-caloric like club soda. *By the way, tonic water is NOT calorie-free like club soda... it actually has just as much sugar as regular soda.

Anyway, those are the options that would do the least caloric damage, but realize that you're going to take in a TON of extra empty calories any time you drink more than a couple alcoholic drinks.

Also, you're probably going to end up at restaurants and bar situations where everyone is getting deep fried bar food. In this case, whatever you can do, ALWAYS avoid anything deep fried. My best option is I get a burger or grilled chicken sandwich and replace the fries (I call them devil sticks) or potato chips (which are also deep fried) with some sort of steamed veggies or a side salad. That way you eliminate the most evil portion of the meal (the fries) but you still enjoy your burger (which isn't really all that bad) or your chicken sandwich.

Also, if you're doing things right 5-6 days/week, don't stress too much over a bad day or two on the weekends, as long as you keep your calories reasonable and always avoid anything deep fried and any sodas as well. As I've said before, anything loaded with trans fats (like deep fried food) or high fructose corn syrup (in sodas) are the absolute worst things you can put in your body.

If you're serious about your body and health, these should never be consumed, not even occasionally. Trans fats and HFCS are the only two items that I'm a stickler on personally. I'll eat as much of anything and everything else, at least occasionally, like pizza, burgers, ice name it! But I'll never even touch a HFCS-laden soda or something deep fried in trans fats. They are pure poison in my mind.

As for working out, just follow the general guidelines in my book and the routine I set up for you, and make changes as described in the book when you start to plateau. Also, enjoy the good weather and get outside a couple times a week to do wind sprints. This is one of the easiest ways to get rid of the fat. It doesn't matter if you can't handle all out sprints just yet, but just run as hard and as fast as you can for 50-100 yard dashes, rest 1-2 minutes, and repeat 5-10 times. It's one of the best workouts you can get in only about 10-20 minutes total. Mix those a couple days/week with your normal strength training routines on other days and you'll be kicking a** in no time flat!

Alright, that's all for today. Brandon (from above) is just one of my great customers who is now motivated like crazy after reading through my Truth about Six Pack Abs Program. Because of the fact that he's armed himself with the knowledge and motivation to do it, he's well on his way to enjoying a lean, rock hard body for life!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Top 15 Non-Traditional Muscle-Building, Fat Blasting Workouts

by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

If you have been a follower of this blog for some time, you know that I'm always trying to give you ways to make your workouts more interesting and fun, while also stimulating big results. Training should be fun, don't you think?

This is what separates the people who fall off the "fitness bandwagon" a couple times every year and never make any real progress from the people that actually adopt a true fitness lifestyle and finally achieve the body they have always wanted. If you make it interesting, fun, and last but not least, make your fitness a priority, and you'll have the body that you want.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that often people will train regularly for a few months and then will either get bored with the same old weight and cardio training, or will get discouraged because their progress comes to a grinding halt after a while. It's my opinion, that your workouts never need to get boring or stale. You just have to be open-minded to the huge world of various training styles and techniques that are out there.

Honestly, there are so many varied and fun training styles out there, that there is no reason you should ever get bored with your workouts and give up on that lean ripped body that you've been looking for. Also, mixing in various training styles builds stronger joints by reducing repetitive movement pattern overload and varying your training stressors.

Now before I start with some of my favorite non-traditional training styles, I will state that I think one of the best ways to achieve a lean, muscular and healthy body is through a consistent weight training routine with free weights. You can choose to integrate some of these alternative training techniques with your weight training routines on the same day, as alternative workouts on separate days of the week, or even as separate training cycles where you try some of these techniques for several weeks at a time before cycling back to a traditional weight training workout. Try some of these training styles out and you'll be on your way to never being bored again with your workouts... and your body will thank you with muscles popping out that you never knew existed!

Okay, here are some of my favorite non-traditional training techniques:

1. Staircase Workouts - This is great because stairs are everywhere. You can go to a football field and do stadium stairs, any building that has stairs like a hotel (most people take the elevator, so you will not even have many people looking at you while you're working out), or even the stairs in your own home. For an awesome full body workout, try mixing stairs sprints with an upper body exercise like pushups or pull-ups.

If done with a high enough intensity, stairs workouts help to create changes throughout your entire body due to the muscle building and fat burning hormonal response and metabolism increase that you get through working the biggest muscle groups in your entire body.

2. Wind Sprints and Hill Sprints - Find any open field in a park or athletic field and try 50, 75, and 100-yard all-out wind sprints. After each sprint, rest long enough to catch your breath before the next one (generally 1-2 minutes). Try workouts of anywhere from 6 to 20 wind sprints for a great "cutting" workout. Also, if you have a hill nearby, hill sprints are also great workouts. Sprint up the hill as fast as you can and walk down for your rest interval. Repeat until you're tired (a 20-30 minute hill workout is plenty).

These sprint workouts are so amazingly effective at changing your entire body for the same reason as stairs powerfully working the biggest muscle groups in your entire body, you greatly stimulate your metabolism while simultaneously increasing your fat burning and muscle building hormones. Just look at any world class 100-meter sprinters and notice how lean & ripped-to-shreds those guys are.

Now compare that to the emaciated weakling physiques of many marathoners, and you'll see that sprinting is where the action is at for a healthy, ripped, powerful body! Now I don't want to upset all of you distance runners out there. Hey, if distance running is something you enjoy, then go right ahead. But don't say you're doing it for the health benefits, because I might just have to disagree.

3. Kettlebell Training - You've probably heard me praise kettlebell training many times before, but I will have to reiterate that it has been one of the best training methods that I've ever tried and has taken my physical capabilities to a whole new level. Kettlebells are an alternative type of free-weight training instead of barbells and dumbbells. Their unique construction and weight distribution (basically a cannonball with a handle) allows for a whole different realm of exercises that's available compared to dumbbells and barbells.

Kettlebells have been typically used for training hard-core athletes, military units, martial arts competitors, and other tough individuals, but there is no reason that anybody looking to get stronger, bigger, or more cut can't learn the exercises and benefit from them. It's been a little over a year now since I've incorporated kettlebell training into my routines, and I'll admit that I'm hooked for life! At between $100-$150 per kettlebell, they are definitely not cheap, but they are well worth the money. Just one or two kettlebells and you've literally got yourself an entire home gym that you can use for the rest of your life...worth every penny in my opinion! Check out some more info about body-hardening kettlebells here.

4. Bodyweight Workouts - Try doing one or two workouts a week at home with just bodyweight based exercises. These can be great because you can get a high intensity workout done in only 15-30 minutes without having to go to the gym on days that you might not have time for a trip to the gym. Try alternating bodyweight squats, pushups variations, lunges, and floor abs exercises continuously for 15-30 minutes.

Try to take very short rest periods or none at all to really amp up the intensity since this will be a brief workout. If you're more advanced, you can even incorporate more challenging exercises like handstand pushups, one-arm pushups, and one-legged squats into your bodyweight training routines.

5. Ring Training - This type of training basically uses portable gymnastic rings that you can take anywhere with you. You throw the straps up over any high bar like a pullup bar, the top of a power rack, or even over a football field goal crossbar. Then you can quickly adjust the rings to do exercises like ring dips, ring pushups, ring pull-ups, hanging leg raises, horizontal body rows, L-sits, and more. Dips and pushups on the rings are my favorites and the rings really make them a hell of a lot more difficult, while also incorporating your stabilizer muscles to a much greater degree.

The rings allow your joints to move in a more natural pattern and can help you prevent or even recover from shoulder injuries. Personally, when I try dips on a normal dip stand, it hurts my shoulders. However, dips on the training rings feel perfect, and also give me a much better muscle pump. The training rings are one of the best training devices I've ever bought. Give them a try... I think you'll like them if you're up for a challenge.

6. Swimming - A great full body workout that stresses the muscles and joints in a much different way than most resistance training. Incorporating swimming workouts once or twice a week into your normal training routines can really enhance your physique. I recommend trying a "sprint" style swimming workout, which will help more for building muscle compared with endurance long distance swimming.

For sprint style, swim as hard as you can to the other side of a 25-meter or 50-meter pool (or sprint swim similar distances in a lake or the ocean if you like to swim outdoors). Rest enough to catch your breath between sprint swims (about 20-40 seconds). Try to keep the rest intervals fairly short with swim sprints. You can also mix different strokes (crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, backstroke, butterfly) on each swim sprint.

I've found that sprint swimming gives me a great muscle pump (especially in the upper body), without any soreness the next day as is typical with weight training. This is because swimming has no eccentric movement (the negative portion of a lift under gravity), which is what causes muscle soreness. Keep in mind that even though swimming works your muscles well and is a nice alternative workout to mix in once or twice a week, it does not strengthen your bones due to the lack of work under gravity. You still need to do regular weight training to do that.

7. Sandbag Training - This form of training is a nice variation to mix in with your strength training. It works your body with an unstable object, which makes muscles that might normally be neglected get in on the action to perform the movements. I've been mixing some sandbag training into my routines for over a year now, and I've found it is a very intense method of training that works your muscles in a different way and gets you huffing and puffing like crazy.

You can make your own sandbags to train with by filling various sized duffle bags with sand, or you can use those construction type sandbags that come in several shapes. Sandbag exercises can be done as squats, cleans, presses, lunges, shouldering, throws or heaves, carrying up hills, etc. I've actually found an entire book devoted to sandbag training, which gave me some really good ideas for sandbag based workouts.

8. Mountain Biking - As you may have figured by now, I'm not a proponent of steady pace endurance exercise, but rather, highly variable intensity exercise that works with bursts of exertion followed by recovery intervals. Well, mountain biking fits this bill perfectly. You get the leg pumping exertion during the uphill climbs, while also getting the adrenaline rush of the downhill acting as your recovery intervals. Mix it all together and you get a super-fun, high-intensity, leg burning workout that will melt fat off of your entire body and build awesome legs at the same time.

The climbs can be tough and will challenge you both physically and mentally as you pump away trying to make it up steep hills without having to resort to getting off of the bike. Then after you make it up the challenging climbs, you get rewarded with the adrenaline rush of flying down steep hills while jumping off of boulders and logs and trying not to stumble or fall off the bike. It's such an addicting thrill...I love it! See, who says that working out has to be boring!

You'll NEVER see me on a stupid stationary bike... only on the REAL trails!

9. Indoor (or outdoor) Rock Climbing - This is yet another fun way to get in a great workout that will also challenge you both physically and mentally. Indoor rock climbing gyms have starting popping up all over the place in recent years and will be more accessible than outdoor rock climbing to most people. Rock climbing is a great workout for your legs, arms, shoulders, and your entire back. It also really works your grip strength and forearms like crazy. Whenever I go indoor rock climbing (which is only on occasion), my forearms are sore for about 2-3 days afterwards. Give it a try if you've never done it... it may be just what you're looking for to spice up your fitness routine.

10. Stick Wrestling - This is a killer full body workout and can also be a great competition between you and your friends. This is probably more of a guy thing for most people. You could even come up with your own "fight club" and have stick wrestling competitions with your buddies to see who is toughest. There are actually sticks designed specifically for stick wresting, but you can even just use a strong broomstick cut down to about 30-36 inches long and taped up with some athletic tape to prevent splinters. For your stick wrestling workout, stand on a soft mat or carpeted area (or grass if outdoors), match up with a friend or foe.

You'll both grab the same stick toward the ends with your hands on the outsides of your partner's hands, on the inside, or staggered. Then you simply push, pull, jerk, and thrash your opponent around trying to knock them off balance until they either fall or lose their grip of the stick...and you win that round! Be careful not to get the stick up high and knock each other in the face. Use common sense. You can do this in 1-2 minute rounds or just keep going until someone gives up. Be creative and keep going until you've gotten a killer workout. Your forearms and legs will be screaming!

11. Strongman Training - This type of training is a little more hard-core, but it's a blast for those who are into trying something different. The premise is based on the types of exercises competitors perform in the "worlds strongest man" competitions. If you have a yard, you can even set up some of these exercises in your yard and do some outdoor workouts to have a little fun. Your neighbors will probably give you some funny! You can get one of those giant tractor tires and do tire flips (which is basically a deadlift followed by a push-press).

You can also try your hand at log lifts, boulder lifts and carries, keg lifts and tosses, weighted sled dragging...anything that involves pulling, pushing, lifting, or heaving any types of odd objects. You don't need to be a monster to enjoy this type of training...just handle whatever size objects are challenging for your individual strength. Strongman training works your entire body in a very intense fashion and could easily spark some new results.

12. Rope Climbing - This goes back to the old high school days of climbing the rope in gym class. Seriously, if you have access to a rope, either at a gym or somewhere outdoors, rope climbing builds a powerful and ripped upper body like no other exercise. A great way to incorporate rope climbing into intense workouts is to do a climb up, then lower yourself back down. Then while your upper body is recovering for the next climb, you can do a lower body exercise like squats or lunges, or go up and down stairs. Keep alternating the upper body rope climbs with the lower body exercises in between and you'll get one hell of a full body workout.

13. Bag Boxing - You can use a heavy bag, a speed bag, or even one of those rebound bags to get a great workout. Among the three, the heavy bag is the best all around full body workout, while the speed bag will test your rhythm and timing and give you a great upper body workout. If available at your gym or if you have a bag at home, try mixing these in as a good warm-up or as an intense finish to your strength routine.

14. Rope Skipping - You can't beat rope jumping as a great full body exercise. I like to use it as a warm-up for my weight training workouts. I prefer to use the really cheap "speed" ropes with a plastic rope instead of a fabric rope. Once you get good, you can jump rope much faster with the plastic ropes than the fabric ones, which will allow you to get a more intense workout. And don't mess with the weighted handle ropes...they'll just slow you down.

Your goal is speed when rope skipping. Try mixing together two legged jumps, one-legged jumps, arm crossovers, double jumps (rope passes under feet twice for each jump) to keep things interesting and increase the intensity. Also, try alternating 15-20 second high intensity bursts where you jump as fast as you possibly can, followed by 15-20 second recovery intervals where you jump slowly to get ready for your next burst. Keep repeating until you're whooped, which might happen pretty quick!

15. Jumping exercises - squat jumps, box jumps, lunge jumps, and broad jumps are some of the best ways to incorporate explosive jumping exercises into your routines. The explosive and powerful nature of jumping exercises works your leg muscles in an entirely different way than most normal slow grinding strength training moves. I've even seen a university study cited once that found squat jumps to elicit the greatest testosterone response of all exercises studied. That means more muscle and less fat on your entire body, not just your legs. Try super-setting jumping exercises with upper body exercises for some really intense workouts.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed all of these ideas for ways to really shake up your workouts and make them fun again. I know some of them may seem a little "out there", but open your mind to the possibilities and you'll never be bored again...and your body will respond with new found results!

Don't forget to pick up a copy of my ebook The Truth About SIX PACK ABS to discover all of the secrets of a sound training and nutrition program to help you build the lean ripped body that you desire.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

3 Random Fitness and Nutrition Tips

by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist

I just though I'd give you some random workout and nutrition tips so here they are:

1. Onions = Amazing Superfood... Eat onions every day if possible.

Not only do I love onions, but not long ago I read a longevity study that surveyed a large amount of people who had lived over 100 years of age. One of the things in common they noticed was that these amazing people that lived to ages exceeding 100 ate a lot of onions.

Kind of strange, eh?... but not a surprise to me. In fact, onions are certainly an important super-food as they contain unique organosulphur compounds and potent antioxidants that are rare in other foods.

I've also studied dozens of reports that correlated onions with pretty impressive reductions in cancer risk.

I try and add onions to almost any meals I can think of... slices on sandwiches, salads, in my morning eggs, in veggie mixtures with lunch or dinner, and more.

2. Mix up your workouts with "5-minute bodyweight exercise challenges"

This is a unique way to add variety to your workouts and you could even get a friend in a little competition with you.

Just throw one of these in at the end of a workout as a high intensity finish, or even just do at home on non-gym days.

Essentially, all you do is choose 1 specific bodyweight exercise such as bodyweight squats, pushups, lunges, etc and try to do as many reps of that exercise as you can in exactly 5 minutes (timed).

This works best by trying to do 20 or 30 reps at a time and then taking short rests of about 10 seconds before going on with your next round of reps.

We've made this a competition between some people at my gym where we all line up and get timed for 5 minutes and see who can do the most squats or pushups or whatever it may be in that 5 minute time period.

From what I've experienced, if you can do 100 or more pushups in 5 minutes, or 200 or more bodyweight squats in 5 minutes, those are very impressive numbers. I believe my record was somewhere around 225 bw squats in 5 minutes.

3. Example of the Glycemic Index (GI) being useless

In the past, I've spoken of how choosing your foods based on the glycemic index can be misleading and useless in many cases.

For example...

Watermelon has perhaps one of the highest measured GI's of all foods (much higher than even cake and ice cream). However, a reasonable serving of cake and ice cream may give you a whopping 700 or 800 calories. Compare that with a typical serving of watermelon may give you 50 or 60 calories max!

Believe me... watermelon isn't making anyone fat!

Ergo, GI is pretty much useless when you're not considering "Glycemic Load", which also factors in the quantity of carbohydrates ingested in a typical serving.

Of course, if you haven't already read Isabel De Los Rios' Diet Solution Program, I highly recommend you check it out... it's everything you could ever want to know about nutrition, calories, macronutrients, foods that burn fat, foods that stimulate fat gain, and so forth...

Also, you can check it my ebook: The Truth About SIX PACK ABS

Monday, 19 January 2009

Grocery Store Health Deception - Understanding the Truth about Food Labels

Nutrition & Weight Loss Tips that Start with Your Food Shopping

by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist

healthy food, nutrition for weight lossI was at the grocery store the other day getting some ingredients for a black bean & brown rice with seasoned venison dish I was planning to make, when a curious thing happened.

I had gone straight to the grocery store after training some clients at the gym. As I was getting some frozen veggies, a nice lady (who must have figured out that I was a fitness coach from my shirt), asked me my advice on a couple frozen prepared box meals she was picking out which had "healthy" claims on the labels (by the way, those prepared frozen meals are usually highly processed and loaded with sodium and other chemicals).

Now I will say that this woman was EXTREMELY overweight, and she mentioned that she has "tried everything" to lose the excess weight and never succeeded.

Remember that I hear about 50 people a day tell me they've "tried everything" to lose weight and get in shape. The problem is that they're trying all of the wrong things... they're trying all of the gimmicks and fat loss fads that are out there instead of just adopting an actually healthy, active lifestyle that will make them lean and healthy for life.

Back to the lady in the store...

So we started talking about her struggles with losing weight and getting in shape, and I began looking at her grocery cart. As I recall, these were some of the contents she thought were healthy:

  • Slim fast shakes (far from healthy...they're actually loaded with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and a bunch of other nasty chemicals)
  • Fat Free Rice Cakes (ok...despite so many people believing these pieces of crap are healthy...they really are nothing but pure refined starch with zero fiber, which basically breaks down immediately into sugar in your body, rapidly increasing insulin and promoting fat storage...doesn't sound so good anymore, huh)
  • Protein bars "Scientifically Slim Body Engineered" or some ridiculous statement like that (I took a look at the ingredient list of these so called "healthy" protein bars and sure enough... hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and enough sugar alcohols to give you the runs for a week!)
  • Canned fruit in syrup (even better, why not just eat fresh whole fruit which still contains the skins, fiber, active enzymes, etc, instead of resorting to processed, canned fruit that's been cooked and loaded with syrup)
  • Reduced Sugar Dessert Cakes (these are completely loaded with nasty artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, preservatives, and a chemical ingredient list about 15 lines long)

Unfortunately, I come across this same scenario all the time.

Many people are fooled by what the FRONT OF THE BOX says,making them to believe what they are buying is healthy. On all of these items, the FRONT of the packages advertized all kinds of great sounding things like "fat free", "reduced sugar", "high protein", "low cholesterol", "low carb", etc.

However, the TRUTH is on the BACK OF THE BOX! Ah yes, the ingredient list and nutrition information is where the ugly truth is. I realize that the majority of people don't know how to fully understand the ingredient list and nutrition info, so they rely on the advertising claims on the front of the package to guide them.


This woman thought she was doing a good job with her grocery shopping and buying all kinds of healthy stuff for her and her family.

The truth is, EVERYTHING she was buying was highly processed and full of chemicals and industrially refined ingredients. I'm not surprised "nothing has worked" for her to get in shape and lose the excess body fat... she hasn't been doing anything right. She's been mislead and confused by all of the marketing and labeling and conflicting nutrition info in the mass media.

If you want to discover the TRUTH about what it really takes to eat a truly healthy diet that maximizes your metabolism, brings your hormonal balance back to normal, reduces cravings, and strips off body fat faster than you'd believe is possible... it's all found in my Truth about Six Pack Abs program.

Here's what some of my readers from all over the globe are saying about their experiences with this fat loss program:

Truth about Six Pack Abs Reviews

Have fun and choose wisely on your next grocery store trip!

Feel free to copy/paste this link on to any friends, family, or coworkers you think might enjoy this article.

Stay lean,

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder - & Busy Man Fitness .com

Sunday, 18 January 2009

My 6-week Overeating Experiment -- Did I Gain Weight, Lose Weight, or Stay the Same?

by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

So, I decided to do something completely off the wall recently... For the last six weeks, I used myself as a lab rat and completed an overeating experiment.

The aim of this experiment was to see how much weight I'd gain if I purposely tried to over-eat on a daily basis for six weeks straight.

What do you think happened? Did I pack on the pounds ( I gained 9 lbs on a 7-day cruise last year when my normal diet at home was replaced with my cruise diet...although I did lose those 9 lbs in only a week and a half after that cruise). Or did I stay the same weight or even got leaner?

My theory was that if you fuel your body with the right types of highly nutrient-dense foods and do not stray from those foods at all, that your body will automatically re-balance itself (your hormones, appetite levels, etc,)... and even though you are trying to over-eat on purpose, so long as the nutrient-density of all of your meals is maximized, total calorie balance will inevitably end up at a level where I would not gain weight.

This goes along with my theory that calorie counting is a waste of time as long as your nutrient density of your foods is so high that the body obtains all of the nutrition it needs and re-balances your appetite and hormones to account for this.

Let me explain..... if you eat 1000 calories worth of soda, donuts, and cookies, your body needs to readjust hormone levels, increase your appetite and try to force you ingest more food to try to get more nutrients, since those 1000 calories were almost devoid of the nutrition your body requires.

But, if you consume 1000 calories worth of healthy foods with high nutrient density like avocados, whole eggs, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and other healthy options, your body keeps most of the nutrition it needs and accounts for this by leveling your appetite and hormones in the time period following that meal (the remainder of the day perhaps). In this scenerio, your body is not making you to eat more food (through cravings) to get the nutrition it needs since it already received a boatload of nutrition.

So, here were the details I had to stick to in my little experiment:

1. I was not allowed to just eat any and all types of foods... I could overeat on as much food as I wanted, but ONLY the foods that are "approved" according to my rules... this means all foods had to be un-processed natural foods. No pasta, white rice, refined flour breads, or refined grain cereals were allowed. No trans fats, deep fried foods, or any other processed foods such as pastries, cookies, cakes, candy etc were allowed in the overeating experiment... I was only allowed to overeat on healthy food.

Some staples during my overeating phase were lots of whole eggs, full-fat grass-fed raw cheese and yogurt, avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, lots of virgin coconut oil and olive oil, grass-fed butter, berries, tons of fruit and vegetables, sprouted grain bread, raw almond butter, sweet potatoes, and lots of venison and grass-fed beef.

2. I was still training quite intensely 3-4 days/week but nothing vastly different from my normal workouts (this means that my caloric expenditure from exercise was not drastically different than normal).

So what was the end result after six weeks of trying to stuff my face with as much healthy food as possible?

>> My body weight stayed EXACTLY the same! I didn't gain one single pound.

The first reaction many people may have is that I just must have a "fast metabolism" or something along those lines and that is why I did not gain weight.

But that is simply not true!

The truth is that I have absolutely no problem gaining weight when I over indulge on junk foods, or eat large amounts of processed foods in general. I can guarantee you that if I was overeating on pasta, white rice, cookies, white bread, donuts, and other processed foods during these last 6 weeks, I would have gained a ton of weight!

In fact, I've done it before. I have easily gained 10 pounds in only 1 week when I have been on some sort of vacation and eat the typical types of processed food that everyone else is eating.

This means that I am just as likely to gain weight as anybody else.

However, notice the huge contrast in my experiment while attempting to overeat on all healthy unprocessed foods... I simply could not gain any weight at all because my body would be constantly re-adjusting the hormone levels and appetite levels to account for the super-high nutrient density of food I was eating.

This of course meant that my body automatically maintained calorie balance without the need for calorie counting.

This the type of eating lifestyle pretty much completely eliminates your cravings... I have said before that I do not think I have had any real cravings in at least five years (since I have been more strict on the type of foods I eat).

I also think it is actually fun and more enjoyable and beneficial to eat in such a healthy manner (for the skeptics that think this involves some sort of deprivation).

I'll be back soon with another Lean-Body Secrets. Til then,

Don't be lazy... be lean.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
The Truth About SIX PACK ABS

Saturday, 17 January 2009

The Ultimate Ski Exercises For Rock Solid Legs

Don't miss another snow day with an injury or weak legs that can't ski more than a half day!

Every time I read a skiing magazine recommending specific, targetted ski workouts, I have to cringe when I see what they are recommending. After all, isn't the goal of an good skier's training routine to minimize injuries while simultaneously building rock solid strength and endurance in your legs and core?

The answer is yes!... All skiers want to tear up the slopes as long as possible, avoid the dreaded "jello legs", and prevent those unfortunate injuries that might cut our skiing season short.

The problem I've seen with traditional workouts that are recommended for skiers is that they not only use ineffectual exercises that don't translate that well into actual skiing movements, but also may even be setting you up for an injury. For example, if you've seen workout regimes that recommend machine leg presses, machine leg extensions, and machine leg curls, run screaming from that workout as fast as you can! Not only will it set you up for unfortunate injuries, but it won't help your goal of strength and endurance that's actually applicable to skiing movements.

The same can be said if you read authors advocating smith machine squats or any smith machine exercises whatsoever... they should all be avoided as smith machine movements follow unnatural movement patterns (not biomechanically correct) that can create excessive stress on the back and possible injury there and/or in the knees.

Now what about wall squats ? Well, although almost every skiing fitness program in existence seems to recommend this exercise for skiers, I don't agree. It is a step in the right direction compared to the machine-based exercises mentioned earlier. However, wall squats are still not a truly effective exercise that translates directly to strength and endurance throughout the entire range of motion that the legs must use while skiing. This exercise can be mildly effective since even an isometric exercise held for endurance in one joint angle will still result in a slightly wider range of motion, but I actually have at least a dozen exercises that are MUCH more effective than wall squats.

One of the other major faults that I've found with typical ski workout fitness routines is that they often forget achieving a proper joint strength balance (proper strength ratios between quadriceps, hamstrings, etc). Although skiing demands a lot of work from your quadriceps and less work from your hamstrings and glutes, it is still crucial for injury prevention to maintain proper strength ratios between all of the muscle groups of the lower body and also make sure the small stabilizer muscles around the joints are properly fortified. This is something else that's lacking in most skier workout programs.

To find out all of the specific exercises that really work in developing rock solid legs that will never quit on you on the slopes, then just visit here for the best Ski Conditioning Exercises and learn the best kept secrets.

Want to get rock solid abs? Visit here to get my ebook The Truth About SIX PACK ABS.

Mike Geary is a certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Specialist and the Author of the popular skiing fitness book for people that are serious about their ski season - Avalanche Ski Training, Your Guide to Carving Down the Mountain with the Power of an Avalanche.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Top 5 Tips To Healthier Eating in Restaurants

Eating out is a big part of most people's lives. If you want to keep a nice fit body, restaurant meals will give you a major hurdle to overcome. In fact, eating out at restaurants is one of the biggest reasons why so many people pile on the weight while traveling.

Below, I'll give you a few very easy tricks you can use to eat healthier and stay lean even while eatingt out at restaurants...

The top 3 most important things to stay away from at restaurants are:

  • deep fried foods (anything bathing in trans fats)
  • refined starchy foods
  • sodas, juices, or other sugary foods (except whole fruits, which are great for you)

If you can avoid these major culprits, this eliminates the major food sources that do the most harm in our food supply - trans fats, refined vegetable oils, refined starchy carbohydrates, and processed sugars.

In other words, you should skip the bread, the french fries that come with every single sandwich on every single menu known ever made, and reduce all of the massive portions of pasta and rice that are often loaded on the plates as well.

Try to order just meat with vegetables, and a salad, asking for the them as a substitute for the french fries, pasta, or rice, that most restaurant meals usually come with.

Almost every restaurant will always allow you to substitute vegetables or a side salad for the french fries or chips that almost always come with burgers or sandwiches.

I am all for moderation with many things, but if there are 2 things that should be totally removed from everyone's diet because these foods are simply that dangerous... it is sodas and fries!

Have a look at the typical difference this substitution makes between choosing smart and doing what most people do...

Many people will eat a meal out such as this:

  • Burger or sandwich
  • chips or fries
  • soda or other sweetened drink (and no, even diet sodas are NOT healthy!)

A MUCH smarter alternative if you care about your body and health is this easy change:

  • Burger or Sandwich
  • Salad or veggies
  • unsweetened iced tea or water (no diet drinks -- unless you like to poison yourself!)

These 2 simple substitutions save at least 400 - 900 calories every time you eat out (depending on drink refills and fries portion sizes)... NOT ONLY THAT, but you are cutting out the most damaging foods to your body as well by avoiding the evil trans fats and high fructose corn syrup from the fries and soft drinks.

A little-known way to eat full portions of pasta, rice, and breads and actually get away with it without packing on the pounds is to schedule a high intensity full body resistance training workout (can be free weights or body weight training) before your meal time.

It can be difficult to fit the workout into your schedule right before the meal, but if you can, the meal can be your "post-workout meal". After a high intensity resistance workout, your body can cope with a higher amount of carbs than normal to help replenish the muscle glycogen depletion you had during the intense workout.

A moderate intensity cardio workout will NOT cut it for this... it must be high intensity resistance training workout to deplete enough muscle glycogen to handle restaurant portions of carbs.

These dining tips should help you choose smarter and healthier for a leaner body next time you eat out.

Check out my ebook for more information: The Truth About SIX PACK ABS.